Monday, January 11, 2010

Concerning Home Churches: Part II

This is the second part of a three part series on the Spiritual Church and introduction to home/organic churches. Click HERE to read the first part.

A Voice in the Wilderness wants to use this as a reference guide for us to read this information from our own Bibles directly. We will list some key points as well. It is important for us to read from the Word in it's full context for ourselves. Never just take any man's word for it.

We are the body of Christ and there is only one head. The head belongs solely to Christ Jesus. The body has many parts and members with different purposes yet all contribute. Every member is different but none is above another (1 Peter 5:3).

The Lord told us to be Godly examples. He appoints Godly men to be Elders and for older women to be examples & mentors. Those are roles in the body explained in Titus 2.

The Head of the Church

The head of the Church is Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:22, 23)

Key Points:
-Jesus is the Head of all things in the Church.
-We are His body.

We are His body. We are His flesh and bones (Ephesians 5:30)

Christ is the Preeminence (Colossians 1:18)
*Heed the warning of leaders who want to claim the preeminence for themselves (3 John 1:9, 10)

Christ is the High Priest for us (Hebrews 4:14, 15)
* The veil was rent, so there no longer needed to be a man to stand before us to God, but Christ alone. (Hebrews 7:26)

Christ is the Chief Shepherd and Bishop (1 Peter 2:25, 1 Peter 5:4)

Jesus Christ is the head of our church, and he dwells in our bodies. Every man in Christ is a priest, and we are to go to the Father directly through his son, Jesus Christ. We do not need any other authority or "shepherd" but Christ alone. We are to be accountable to one another, exhorting one another and suffering with one another. The Bible says we are to especially do that as we see the day approaching. Beware of any man or spiritual leader who seeks to place himself higher than the body, high as if he was a high priest or a man with authority, and has no accountability but "unto God alone."

A Voice in the Wilderness


Paul said...

This statement struck me as a bit out there:
"We do not need any other authority or shepherd but Christ alone. We are to be accountable to one another."

I admit I sometimes wish that it could be that way but I simply do not see it in the scripture as such.

Hbr 13:7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of [their] conversation.
Hbr 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that [is] unprofitable for you.

What are we under shepherds watching for?
Hbr 13:9 Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For [it is] a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.

Who are the shepherds ?
Eph 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors (poimēn) and teachers;

Who is "He" that is behind the gifts including shepherding/pastoring (poimēn)?

Hbr 13:20 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd (poimēn) of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,

I see many that go for home church who have been "burned" by bad poimēn (real or imagined), but nonetheless it is the structure of His body (home or in a park) which He bought by His blood and to which He is ultimately the head. You will discover this when you confront false doctines and need to teach with authority and not just pitch in your opinion. You are a shepherd at that point.

As a shepherd, I love to fight the good fight in keeping people focused on Jesus Christ and not taking their eyes off of Him. I am not ashamed of that calling nor do I feel higher than anyone else, but rather one that will be judged with a stricter judgement(jam3:1).

Shepherds Heart:

"2Cr 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. "

The local body to which I am 'attached' to now has moved through a park , 2 homes, a school, now renting downtown - all have their pros and cons practically, but nothing compares to the presence of God in the midst of the congregation no matter where it is.

A Voice in the Wilderness said...

Thank you for your response. I read it several times and spent several hours studying this. It has been very challenging but I thank you!

I do see in the scripture that God has appointed pastors, amongst many other offices, such as an Apostle, Evangelist, Prophet, and teacher. Pastors are only mentioned eight times in the Bible and once in the New Testament. God's ideal for pastors are to feed His sheep with God's Word. We see that God often reprimands pastors in the Bible for not doing their part in feeding His flock.

A pastor is an overseer. He watches over the church which is similar to what a real shepherd would do. They do not put collars or chains around the flock, but they just watch them and warn them from danger of a coming wolf.

In that verse of Hebrews 13:17, that verse has been heavily abused by false pastors and leaders who try to control and manipulate their congregation. This verse is addressed to the Elders, which are older, wiser and Godly men. Earlier in Hebrews 13 (verse 7), these men also need to live Godly lifestyles as well (conversations).

We see in 1 Peter 5, he writes to the Elders of the churches. Peter tells them that they need to feed the flock, take oversight upon them, not for filthy lucre ($$)(note: they should not have a salary), not to be Lords over what belongs to God, but as examples. Not by constraint.

It continues to tell the younger to submit unto their elders with humility. We see in Titus 2 that the elders should teach the younger ones. That is the natural way. Those who live the longest have more experiences and wisdom than the younger ones.

I also want to clairfy that those who give an account in Hebrews 13 does not mean that they will stand before God and give an account of you. It is written that every man shall give an account of himself before the Lord (Rom 14:12, Phil 4:17, Mat 12:36) This person shall give an account.. of themselves.. to the Lord of how they have guided you and shewed you things of the Lord. Let them do it with joy, and not grief. They are stewards of the Lord and minister unto us. Whenever that is abused, we should flee from them.

We see that Jesus is the Shepherd. His flock belongs to Him. (John 10, Ez 34:11 -15, 31, Heb 13:20, 1 Peter 2:25, Psalm 80:1)

"The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want." Psalm 23:1

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